Open main menu

Robert F. Broussard

Robert Foligny Broussard (August 17, 1864 – April 12, 1918) was both a U.S. representative and a U.S. senator from Louisiana. He was born on the Mary Louise plantation near New Iberia, the seat of Iberia Parish, to Jean Dorville Broussard, and his wife Anastasie Elizadie Gonsoulin Broussard. He attended public and private schools.

Robert F. Broussard
Robert Foligny Broussard.jpg
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
March 4, 1915 – April 12, 1918
Preceded byJohn Thornton
Succeeded byWalter Guion
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1915
Preceded byAndrew Price
Succeeded byWhitmell P. Martin
Personal details
Robert Foligny Broussard

(1864-08-17)August 17, 1864
New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedApril 12, 1918(1918-04-12) (aged 53)
New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
RelativesEdwin S. Broussard (brother)
Alma materGeorgetown University (BA)
Tulane University (LLB)


Broussard attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., from 1879-82. He was a night inspector of customs in New Orleans from 1885–88, when he was appointed assistant weigher and statistician. He held that position in 1888-89. He graduated from the Tulane University Law School in 1889. He was admitted to the bar the same year and launched his practice in New Iberia. He was elected prosecuting attorney of the Nineteenth Judicial District and held that office from 1892 to 1897.

Broussard was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1897 – March 4, 1915). While in the House of Representative, he was chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice (Sixty-third Congress); he did not seek renomination in 1914, having become a candidate for Senator. He was elected in 1914 to the Senate and served from March 4, 1915, until his death three years later in New Iberia. In the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on National Banks (Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Congresses).

Broussard introduced the "American Hippo Bill", H.R. 23261,[1] in 1910. This bill proposed $250,000 in funding from the federal government to import the hippopotamus from Africa in order to solve two problems at once: the meat shortage in the United States and the invasive plant-species called the Water Hyacinth invading Louisiana's waterways.[2]

Edwin Sidney Broussard, Robert's younger brother, also practiced law in New Iberia and was elected to succeed Robert in the U.S. Senate. One of Broussard's nephews, George P. Broussard, was a veterinary medical researcher in New Iberia.

Near the end of his Senate tenure, Broussard's secretary was W. Burch Lee, the former state representative for Webster Parish and later clerk of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Shreveport.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "History of Bills and Resolutions - Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 45 (1910)" (PDF). p. 302. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Louisiana's Bizarre Hippo History To Be Recounted in Movie 'American Hippopotamus'". The Times-Picayune.
  3. ^ "W. Burch Lee Funeral Here in Afternoon: Former Clerk of Federal Court Expires After Week of Illness". The Shreveport Times through Retrieved March 22, 2015.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Andrew Price
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Whitmell P. Martin
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
John Thornton
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
March 4, 1915 – April 12, 1918
Served alongside: Joseph E. Ransdell
Succeeded by
Walter Guion